Where Do You Stand?

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(See below for links to current reviews)

--Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer, 4/6/2004
"[A] touching documentary about the struggle to unionize textile workers in Kannapolis. Plant owners urged employees to vote no, promising to look after them, but minimized pay and sold the company to even less caring bosses. . .

[At the premiere] Delores Gambrell, out of work after 31 1/2 years there, came on stage with a panel to discuss the unemployed workers' lives today. She showed us why documentaries matter: They connect us to people in our communities who'd otherwise have no public voice."

--Bob Geary, The Independent Weekly, 3/31/2004
"A straightforward telling of the history of union organizing efforts at the old Cannon Mills company in Kannapolis...it's heartbreaking exactly because those fighting for justice in their homeplace know so little about--or have so little influence over--the worldwide force of capitalism that they're up against."

--David Fellerath, The Independent Weekly, 3/24/2004
"Lescaze's film is no less politically urgent as a film like Super Size Me, but it concerns an unglamorous subject that doesn't lend itself to gonzo theatrics. Industrial unions, her film's topic, are fast becoming a casualty of economic globalization--these days, a company can kill a union drive by simply closing shop and opening a new one abroad. Manufacturing jobs disappear from old mill towns, leaving those left in the lurch to find poverty-wage work at Wal-Mart and other service jobs.

Lescaze has no illusions about the future of industrial unions in our globalizing world. 'I don't think unions can save jobs in this context,' she says. But her film is intended in part to be a testimony to the principle of labor consciousness. 'I wanted to tell a real story of people and how much has changed from generation to generation,' she says. 'And yes, I do want to point out the right to organize,' Lescaze continued. 'We have that right on paper, but it's not worth the paper it's printed on.'"

--David Bonior, former U.S Congressman, MI
"Very moving, stokes your outrage. The film lays out the problem very well: A combination of weak laws, ruthless companies, and an ineffective NLRB make it nearly impossible for American workers today to exercise their legal right to organize a union."

--Robert Korstad, Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University
"Heartbreaking. Very effective. Some of the best worker commentary and analysis I have seen."

--Nelson Lichtenstein, author of State of the Union: A Century of American Labor
"Where Do You Stand? is an epic story of the search for human dignity, a tale of tragedy and triumph, of courage and cowardice, of victory and defeat. Alexandra Lescaze's skillfully rendered film is essential viewing for all students of contemporary American history."

--Kate Bronfenbrenner, Director of Labor Education Research,New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations,Cornell University
"Where Do You Stand?" is a bittersweet story, beautifully told, about just how long and just how hard workers are willing to fight for the kind of economic and social justice only a union can bring. Sadly, it is also the story of just how far U.S based multinationals are willing to go in destroying workplaces and communities that stand in the way of the global race to the bottom in wages and living standards. It is an important film that should be shown in high schools, college campuses, and union halls across the country, to remind us all how important it is to stick with the struggle and make it global."

--Bruce Raynor, President UNITE HERE
"Where Do You Stand?" is a gripping account of what workers face when they try to win a union on their job, as well as a powerful statement about the experience of generations raised in one of America's most famous company towns. The film tells an important story about the resilliancy of the human spirit in the face of decades of paternalism and corporate abuse. It is a must see for anyone questioning the need for unions in America today. The workers profiled set a new standard for courage and determination in their 25 year struggle for dignity on the job.

--James P. Hoffa, President International Brotherhood of Teamsters
"Where Do You Stand?" is an excellent documentary by a new and welcome voice on labor. The film is an insider's look at the propaganda used by management to bust unions and the perseverance of the American worker. It is also a sobering reminder of the toll anti-union and anti-worker legislation has left on the country.

--Richard Bensinger, former Organizing Director of the AFL-CIO and Founder of the Organizing Institute
�Where Do You Stand?� is a unique case history of a historic modern labor struggle told through compelling testimony of individual workers. It enables the viewer to gain a profound understanding of various issues that exist with unions today. I personally have not seen a video on progressive social change that is as inspiring, thought provoking and informative.

--Judith A. Scott, General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's largest AFL-CIO union
The documentary "Where Do You Stand" is one of the best films out there telling the brave story of manufacturing workers who take on their corporate employer to demand workplace and community justice through unionization. The story of the North Carolina workers' 25-year struggle to organize their Cannon/Fieldcrest textile mill is a window into the brutal world facing private sector workers throughout this nation who dare to organize a union. The film vividly conveys the wide circle of people, from many different perspectives, who play a key role in the mill's history with unionization...from the commited working women and men and union organizers, to various CEOs who promise company loyality while plotting the mill's sale and layoffs. You will leave this film much wiser about the stark cruel reality facing workers who try to organize a union, and you will definietly want to do something about it!

--Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians, Canada's largest citizen advocacy organization.
In the end, all real effects of corporate-driven economic globalization are local. Where Do You Stand? tells the story of one community and its heroic struggle against a system designed to rob working people of rights. What the men of wealth behind this system will never understand - and why they will ultimately be defeated - is the human spirit of people like those in Kannapolis. They shine through this film.

--Howard Zinn
"Where Do You Stand? presents the untold story of American textile workers, what they endured, and how they fought back. It is a sobering story but also an inspiring one. I hope it will be widely seen.

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